2004 DL 650 vs 2012 DL650!
My son rides the ’04 and I have the new ’12 650 after riding the ’03 Vee for several years. We just got back from a trip to West Virginia where we stayed with family and rode about 1000 miles showing my son the places I spent time growing up. The Sena bluetooth communicators were worth their weight in gold for this trip!
We rode probably 100 miles or so of gravel, LOTS of two lane blacktop, couple hundred miles of divided multi lane, probably 100 miles or so of blacktop that was not lined but still mostly two lane, and some of the best twisties WV has to offer.
On the gravel the Wee II has a definate edge as the front suspension on the Wee is very harsh and the extra weight is noticeable. Even though the Wee has Shinko 705’s the WeeII was more stable. On the backroads it is about the same, the new WeeII just simply has a suspension that works better and it feels WAY lighter than the actual weights of each.
On the highways the ’04 has a better windshield/deflector setup and Russel seat so there is no comparison in comfort for high mile days, but that is no fault of the ’12 Wee and I will fix that.
The twisties: Riding Scherr mountain, route 20, and route 33 was a blast! I never once drug my pegs but drug my toes several times in the turns. The ’04 was behind me most of the time at an equal pace and he was dragging the pegs and boots often. Both bikes have the peg lowering kits.
I could look in the mirror and see the sparks from his pegs, I wasn’t even touching my boots yet! The difference is the suspension. The front suspension on the ’04 compresses in the turns.
The rear shock was set on full preload ( the ’12 was at minimum preload ). Hitting the brake coming into the turn on the ’04 would compress the fork and it didn’t want to return, I think that was a lot of the clearance difference. The tires were great, I felt the front Trailwing on the ’12 move once, probably due to something on the road, but only slightly. The Shinkos were equally good, neither bike had but about 1/8 of chicken strip left.
Fuel mileage: the ’04 had fresh iridium plugs and air filter and was in perfect tune. The ’12 had about 1500 miles at the start of the trip. Overall I averaged 59 mpg on 4 fill ups on the 2012, the ’04 averaged 52 mpg.
Same distance, same roads, same speeds, with the exception of about 130 miles I had a passenger with me on the 2012.
I couldn’t be much happier with the performance of the new Wee II. Even two up in the mountains I felt I had all the power I needed. The new suspension is good enough that I probably won’t upgrade it. Brakes are about the same and I might put the HH pads on it later, having ABS is one of the reasons I bought the new bike.
I have the windscreen set up very good and may leave it like it is for now, I do know there could be a little quieter smoother setup, but the flexibility this one allows is useful ( Givi Airflow ). I’ll get a Russel seat on it and see if it is good for all day rides.
’12 DL 650- ’04 DL 650- ’04 R 1150 RT
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